Rapid Reaction: Louisville 90, DePaul 82

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
1:57
PM CT

Here’s a quick look at No. 18 Louisville’s 90-82 overtime win over DePaul on Saturday.

How it happened: DePaul got off to another hot start against a Big East opponent, but again it wasn’t to last. The Blue Demons jumped out to a 16-4 lead and kept their advantage in double figures most of the first half. They led 42-32 at halftime. The second half was a different story. Louisville opened the half on an 18-6 run to take the lead. Louisville sank eight 3-pointers to key its second-half comeback. The teams would go and back forth from there on out. Louisville led 76-72 down the stretch, but DePaul answered again and sent the game into overtime. Louisville’s Russ Smith was the difference in overtime, scoring two big consecutive shots that gave the Cardinals an 83-79 lead. They outscored DePaul in 13-5 in the extra period.

What it means: It was another heartbreaking loss for DePaul. The Blue Demons have definitely improved in coach Oliver Purnell’s second season, but their progress still isn’t leading to wins. The Blue Demons fell to 2-12 in the Big East and have dropped their past six games. Louisville improved to 9-5 in conference.

Outside the box: If games lasted only one half, DePaul would be one of the premier teams in the Big East. Saturday marked the fifth time in six games the Blue Demons led or were tied at halftime. Their 10-point halftime lead was their biggest in Big East play.

Player of the game: Louisville’s Kyle Kuric scored a team-high 25 points and drained five 3-pointers.

DePaul player of the game: Brandon Young had struggled throughout DePaul’s past seven games. He broke out of that slump on Saturday. He was 10-of-13 from the field and scored a game-high 27 points.

What’s next: DePaul has a quick turnaround and plays at St. John's on Monday. Louisville heads to Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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